Issue 89 | October 20, 2017
Carmakers rattled by Trump NAFTA demands
 
Automakers are demonstrating concern about the North American Free Trade Agreement's (NAFTA) future after the Trump administration proposed an increase in the percentage of automobile parts required to be made in Canada, Mexico or the United States from 62.5 percent to 85 percent. The Trump administration has also considered implementing a requirement that at least 50 percent of parts are made in the U.S. Jennifer Thomas, vice president of federal affairs at the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, warns that this will likely have mostly negative, unintended consequences. In a recent interview with Forbes, Trump said: "I happen to think that NAFTA will have to be terminated if we're going to make it good." Read more
 
Azevêdo underpins WTO services commitment, skepticism remains
Robert Azevêdo, director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO), emphasized the WTO's commitment to expanding support for services regulations, but also stated that uncertainty remains regarding whether the WTO can deliver a multilateral agreement on this front in Buenos Aires in December. Many hope that with the 11th WTO ministerial conference merely two months away, the body will move toward more open markets. During the Coalition of Services Industries summit in Washington, Azevêdo stated that talks in the December conference will focus on services and their domestic regulation. Read more
 
NAFTA negotiators trade barbs, indicate wide differences

Leading trade officials in Canada and the U.S. are deeply entrenched in conflict after the fourth round of NAFTA concluded on Tuesday. Both sides are accusing the other of attempting to sabotage the deal. Chrystia Freeland, Canada's foreign minister, accused U.S. trade negotiators of attempting a "winner take all approach." U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer claimed that Canadian and Mexican trade officials have failed to demonstrate any willingness to help balance the United States' trade deficits. Lighthizer gave no indication that the U.S. has a plan if the NAFTA deal is derailed. A source close to the deal said there is a serious possibility that the deal will collapse. The next round of negotiations is scheduled for Nov. 17-21. Read more
 
Bombardier CEO confident Airbus deal will resolve Boeing trade row

Bombardier Inc.'s chief executive is confident that the sale of the C Series aircraft division to Airbus Group SE will put the dispute with Boeing to rest. Chicago-based Boeing had complained that Bombardier was receiving government assistance while selling planes at "absurdly low" prices. The U.S. government was threatening to impose a tariff of nearly 300 percent on these aircrafts, as they were being sold for so little. Bombardier CEO Alain Bellemare said during a press conference on Tuesday that "assembly in the U.S. can resolve the issue." Airbus will acquire a 50.01 percent stake in the C Series for no cash and integrate the plane into its products, per a deal announced late on Monday. Read more
 
Treasury declines to call China a currency manipulator

The U.S. Treasury Department did not identify China as a currency manipulator in its newest report on foreign exchange rate practices. It did claim, though, that it is closely monitoring China, Japan, South Korea, Germany and Switzerland. President Trump claimed during his campaign that he would label China as a currency manipulator on day one of his presidency. This policy of not acknowledging China as a currency manipulator has been standard in the U.S. Treasury Department since the founding of the World Trade Organization in 1994. The U.S. Treasury Department had the following to say of China in its most recent report: "Treasury remains concerned by the lack of progress made in reducing the bilateral trade surplus with the United States." The department's next currency report will be due in April. Read more
 
Brexit trade talks needed by December, says Drakeford

Welsh Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford, after a meeting in Brussels with European Parliament Chief Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt, emphasized the U.K.'s "extra obligation" to move trade talks forward. E.U. negotiators said that until progress is made in the first stage of negotiations, they refuse to discuss the future trade relationship between the E.U. and the U.K. British Prime Minister Theresa May and E.U. Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker assured issued a joint statement after a dinner in Brussels, saying that talks "should accelerate over the months to come". To ensure a smooth transition, the U.K. has passed the EU Withdrawal Bill, which both the Welsh and Scottish governments firmly oppose. Read more
 
Port of Long Beach: Creating New Opportunities
November 15, 2017
 
Join the Global Initiatives Council for the last session of the year to receive an update from executive director Mario Cordero on the Port of Long Beach's performance in 2017 and future initiatives. RSVP here.
Compiled by Center for Global Trade & Foreign Investment intern Maverick Freedlander.

For more information, contact Jasmin Sakai-Gonzalez, 213.580.7569.
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, 350, Los Angeles, CA 90017
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